Saturday, January 30, 2010

RIZZO'S WAR by Lou Manfredo **

Just opened the book will continue when I've gotten into it. It's a debut novel takes place in Brooklyn. 

It's very engaging. I get lost in the story and follow the novice detective with his veteran partner. The older guy is very smart and knows a lot about being a cop. Mr. Manfredo (writer) wrote what he knows and it shows. He gets into politics, the secrets to keep, the favors to put on others for the future and knows the way around the city. 

Surprise, the younger cop meets his dream girl with 'skin almost translucent' (gross?) and 'sapphire eyes'. Most beautiful woman he's ever seen! zowee never ends. And she "smiled deeply into his eyes" wonder if it's painful having a smile deeply embedded in your eye.

I still like it and didn't think I would because the title has little to do with the story. Rizzo is the veteran detective. With the word "war" I was thinking some personal vendetta or mafia crime stuff and I don't particularly care for those topics. But this isn't either. I think the 'war' refers to his job solving each crime. War against crime?

Well written, everything flows smoothly along. There are a couple abrupt endings, like they're on the way to an interview but you don't get to the interview right away, later on the character reflects back and that's how you get the interview. I get involved and don't really like being blown off for a few pages but otherwise it's readable. The descriptions are great, the dialogue and personalities seem as if they're real. 

It's not really about one specific incident. It's generally about going on detective grade police calls with some in-depth cases. Nothing is predictable or cliche so far.

I didn't like the base line of the story. Mostly political crap, ass-kissing, personal gain over laws. These are COPS. No wonder people hate them if they are like these. Also in dialogue, Joe, they keep using the name, Joe, all the time in every sentence, Joe, and it's a pet peeve, cuz IRL no one does that, Joe.

At the end the cops are assholes. Both are criminals and I felt like an accomplice for reading this. No matter what the justifications for stealing stolen money from your own partner, using blackmail to further your career and enjoying it all, the reader has been raped. No one is a hero in this book, they're all jerks with an agenda. No happy ending. I ended up disgusted.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

EVIDENCE by Jonathan Kellerman *****

Here is an author I know and respect. The beginning starts with a bang...or an interrupted bang - 2 people were doin' it and got murdered during. Sounds great. I'll get back with more as I go.

Nice gradual intros to everyone involved at the beginning with flowing prose. Maybe five characters and some are temporary so I don't have to learn them.

I know who, what, when, where and how because I was gently led around the scenes. The characters are well developed, rounded out and almost real. The night watchman who found the body was well crafted for such a small part. Great descriptions, the dialogue reveals personalities without paragraphs and paragraphs of narrating like previous novel. 

Nice interjections of humor between Milo and Alex the two compadre crime solvers. Still reading....happily...engrossed....suspects on the horizon and one victim ID'd.

Still enjoying the book. Sometimes when I get a book at the library I read it then wonder if the reason I can't get involved is my fault but then I get to a book like this and wow....such a difference I know it's not me. It flows so easily from scenes, to dialogue and all is carefully explained without suddenly jarring me back into 4 narrative paragraphs of past crap I don't need in order to carry the story forward. Not many authors have that ability and it should be a requirement to carry the story line forward. If not editor....DELETE.

Finished. Good story, well written, believable characters, entertaining and not a chore at all to read.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

KILL FOR ME by Karen Rose

I read during the day and to fall asleep so I don't like a cast of thousands. This one has Monica, Cassidy, Bobby, Charles, Rocky, Granville, Mansfield, Dan Vartanian on the first PARTIAL page beyond the prologue.

Can't we start a simple story with one character doing something or going someplace then intro someone else here and there once I get into the lead character? If I'm hit with 14 people in 10 pages I generally hate them all...if the author needs a chart to work from I ain't reading it.

This one has many Vartanians early on, all related and I'm supposed to keep a family tree while I'm trying to read. My goal reading is to see the story happening in my head. This book was too much work and that mental story never happened.
The prologue is intriguing but after that all hell breaks loose. I read about 100 pages and quit.

no stars 

The MIST by Carla Neggers *

Opened the book. Spies, bombs, gov'ment types. Lets start with names. The writer really likes full names and gives you a lot of them and they all sound European. I think the writer is Irish. I don't have the patience for foreign writers. Me=Bitch.

For the 1st 10 pages memorize these names, don't care if you're trying to relax or fall asleep, tough titty:
Lizzie Rush, Lord Will, Eddie O'Shea, William Arthur Davenport, Kiera Sullivan, Simon Cahill, Norman Estabrook, John March (that's only 3 pages, I shall continue), Peter, Arabella, Harlan Rush, Fiona O'Reilly, Jeremiah. She's not done...there are many more characters following. I don't CARE about one of them yet. Best compliment - she isn't using nick names.. so far. I don't really care for writers who switch all the time from first to last names all over the book. Drives me nuts. This one doesn't do that at least.

The author does flashbacks for each person, their history ad nauseum, don't care. There are references constantly to a serial killer probably from a previous book cuz it has nothing to do with this story line AT ALL. Not only that but every time one character meets another one they discuss other characters' background till you want to scream. Or; till I want to scream just to see some ACTION.

Someone keeps having Afghan flashbacks. Most of the women are stunningly beautiful, they're all billionaires. Last 8 books I read the lead heroine is so pale her veins show (gross?), her hair is blonde and soft as snow or black and shiny, eyes cornflower blue, 90 lbs and can take down FBI agents in a fight BAREHANDED. Copy that for your novel. That is THE lead female...or is it a cliche? This one has so many main characters not one stands out as your heroine. They all have equal time and I don't really care about any of them.

All the men are big tough steroidal clones with the FBI, guarda? or some other secret org. Then author adds fairies, stone circles, harp music and black ghost dogs? The men all want to over-protect their self-sufficient woman. What is it...the men are necessary or extraneous? Please just come out and tell me.

The writing is stilted. Instead of simply saying "It was where her mom died" there's a long drawn out sentence with mommys name (she's dead, not in the story WHO CARES?) who was his wife, her mother, so and so's son blahblah and she died. What?

On page 82 Simon touches a sketch, you get off-loaded to some unnecessary black dog, volunteer rescue mission, deep undercover assignment yrs ago and then a year after that, on and on and THEN he finds another sketch....hel-lo you lost me in the Way Back Machine. When I lose my place in this book I just turn the page forward and start over.

The story doesn't sound a bit cohesive until you get to chapter 10. Far as I care the first 100 pages are trash including the bomb scene that hovers between Ireland and the US and all those people mentioned above and their relatives. Boring bomb. Tres.

NY Times Best selling author!!

Page 120 we interrupt this Fiona interview to burst into song and dance with harp music. A couple times the characters just don't answer a question. This happens IRL all the time- right? What's your name? Person ignores question and ties shoe. Yup. Sure. What planet is this on? Then she walks away. Done. -More than once.

"So Bob, do you like baseball?" "Yes, Frank." "Tell me, Bob, who's your favorite team?" "Well Frank, that would be the Red Sox." Is that how people have conversations, Bob? Using your name in every sentence, Frank? Well on this planet it's very common, Bob.

Who says "beautifully appointed?" Maybe if you have an accent and say "I a-ppointed to that there raccoon, mom" it'd be ok.

Finally done!
Very herky-jerky writing sending me backward and forward in time and let me remind you, anytime Lizzie does something physical like kick someone- her daddy taught her everything she knows. You will be reminded of this anytime she does any defense stuff and really I don't care about hearing 25 times how her mum died hitting her head on the cobblestones.

I don't feel like I read a story. I read background material, biographies, maybe an outline for a story; very little action with maybe one bad guy who hates everyone due to being put in jail for whatever, awhile ago. So what. Like that's a reason to kill everyone? He didn't even seem particularly evil, just what someone with little to no experience would imagine a bad guy to be.

Not a very good romance story either, I've sure read better (Ivanovich for one). I think the author thinks Lizzie is the lead character but it ain't easy digging that out of the muck.